When gearing up for the holidays, you’re surely thinking about gifts, but if you’re hosting a dinner party, you ought to start thinking of Christmas dinner ideas and prepare for your feast.
Whether your family is small or large, planning your menu is a smart way to make your holiday more about celebrating with your loved ones, and less about cooking and stressing over your meals.
Let us help by providing several Christmas dinner ideas to get your juices flowing.
Old-Fashioned Glazed Ham
Makes 10-12 servings / Total time: 2 hours, 50 minutes / Source
- ¾ cup Dijon mustard
- ½ cup light brown sugar, plus more for sprinkling
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 1 (14-pound) cooked and smoked cured ham, shank end
- ¾ cup pineapple juice
- 20 canned pineapple rings
- ½ cup maraschino cherries
- Put your oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a small bowl, mix together the Dijon mustard, brown sugar and thyme.
- Put the ham in a large roasting pan, fat side up. Rub the ham with mustard glaze and pour the pineapple juice into the bottom of the pan.
- Place ham in the oven and bake for 2 hours, brushing every 20 minutes with the pineapple juice.
- Remove the ham from the oven and increase temperature to 400 degrees F.
- Using toothpicks, decoratively adhere the pineapple rings around the ham and put a cherry in the center of each pineapple ring. Sprinkle the pineapple rings lightly with brown sugar.
- Return to the oven, uncovered, and bake until the pineapples turn a light golden brown.
- Remove from the oven to a serving platter and let rest for 15 minutes before slicing the ham.
Christmas Stuffing With Bacon
Makes 8-10 servings / Total time: 1 hours, 40 minutes / Source
- 8 ounces applewood-smoked bacon, chopped into ½-inch pieces
- 4½ cups low-salt chicken broth
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
- 1¼ cups short-grain brown rice
- 1¼ cups wild rice
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- One 14-ounce bag frozen pearl onions, thawed
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 12 ounces (3 large) portobello mushrooms, shredded or thinly sliced
- 8 ounces Brussels sprouts, trimmed and thinly sliced
- ½ cup hazelnuts, toasted, husked, coarsely chopped (optional)
- Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Using a slotted spoon, drain the bacon on paper towels.
For the rice:
- In a heavy saucepan or Dutch oven, bring the broth and thyme to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Add the brown rice and wild rice. Cover the saucepan and simmer 30 minutes, or until the rice is tender, but still chewy.
- Turn off the heat and allow the rice to stand for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
For the vegetables:
- In the same skillet used to cook the bacon, heat the butter and oil over medium-high heat.
- Add the onions and season with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper, and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until light golden.
- Add the mushrooms, ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper, and cook for about 8 minutes, or until softened.
- Add Brussels sprouts and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper, and cook for 5 minutes.
- Transfer the vegetable mixture to the saucepan of cooked rice. Add the hazelnuts and cooked bacon and toss until mixed.
- Transfer to a large bowl and serve.
Candy Cane Cookies
Makes 25 cookies / Total time: 37 minutes / Source
- 1 box sugar cookie mix
- ½ stick butter, melted
- 1 egg
- ⅓ cup softened cream cheese
- ½ cup all-purpose flour, plus additional for surface
- Red food coloring
- 1½ teaspoons peppermint extract
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- In a bowl, combine sugar cookie mix, melted butter, egg, cream cheese and flour. Mix together to form dough. Separate dough into two equal portions and place in separate bowls.
- Gradually add red food coloring to one bowl of dough, kneading together until desired shade of red is created. Add peppermint extract to second bowl of uncolored dough and knead together.
- On a floured work surface, shape each dough into balls and then roll each ball into ¼-inch-wide ropes, each about 6 inches long.
- To make each cookie, carefully twist some of the red and white ropes of dough together and shape into a candy cane.
- Spread candy canes out on cookie sheets and bake on the top shelf of the oven for 10 to 12 minutes.
- Transfer to a rack to cool before serving.